Editorial: Registration woes

6:24 p.m.
Two minutes to registration.
6:25 p.m.
“Student is not allowed to register before designated time.”
Finally, access is granted.

Simmons students have been registering for classes this week. For some, it will go smoothly. Others will face a number of challenges.

Some students found they did not get access to register until a few minutes after their assigned times.

Since students’ times are spaced out, sometimes at odd times like 1:19 p.m., classes are interrupted as people whip out computers and scurry to sign up. Disruptions continue if they happen to discover that the class they needed to graduate is now full and they have been waitlisted.

Woe is the student who finds out that a particular class is not offered every semester or even every year. Other classes, like journalism, have not been offered for the last two semesters.

What is particularly frustrating is when required courses or classes that act as prerequisites are not held frequently.

Courses with low students sign-ups are occasionally cancelled. Simmons is a small college, so it is understandable that some specialized classes might not have enough students to be economically feasible. However, it would be helpful to have any easier way to see options from Colleges of the Fenway or other local colleges that are comparable. Simmons should also recognize that some of these classes fill particular niches that do not have similar classes at other schools. Despite small numbers, courses like this can be some of the most valuable of a student’s experience.

Sometimes, classes that have waitlists too long to add everyone will open other sections, but often not at the same time or with the same professor.

On the subject of courses being at the same time, departments schedule their courses independently. Students double-majoring or trying to fulfill modes in different departments struggle to find courses that do not conflict.

Transfer students face particular difficulties, as they are not familiar with the processSimmons has compared to their previous institutions.

Each year, Donna Dolan of the Registrar’s office attends a SGA forum to discuss potential improvements to registration. Over the last four years, Simmons created the Academic Advising Center to help students. New students and transfer students can get guidance on the first round of registrations and can be set with advisors.

After that, students and their advisors are left to muddle through on their own. Each professor advises in their own way, so some students feel very confident about registering while others have not heard from their advisors in months. A student could go to her advisor for help to find that the professor did not have her contract renewed or is on sabbatical, retired, or otherwise missing.

Over the last few years, registration has improved at Simmons, but there is still a ways to go before it is a smooth process for the majority of students.

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